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Anarcho-Primitivism

Date Saturday - July 14, 2012
Host John B. Wells
Guests John ZerzanJeffrey M. Smith

John B. Wells welcomed intellectual leader of the anarcho-primitivist movement, John Zerzan, who offered his controversial opinions on the ills of technology and how it is responsible for destroying human communities. "I'd like to go back to the stone age," he said, pointing to anthropological evidence of the numerous benefits of the band society prevalent in that period. Unlike today, people did not work all of the time, females were not objectified, the natural world was not systematically destroyed, and there was no organized warfare, Zerzan reported. It was an egalitarian life of sharing, he added. Domestication and agriculture, however, turned people away from this freer life of simply taking what nature provided, Zerzan continued. Modernity and progress have ultimately led to a society bereft of face-to-face interaction and with no accountability among its members, he noted.

Zerzan suggested that technology is not neutral but rather comes bundled with inherent values. He blamed technology for many of the complex issues mankind faces today, and lamented the near impossibility of having an honest dialogue on the topic since most believe technology is the answer. "Everything it says is a lie," Zerzan asserted. Technology has supposedly connected everyone together, yet the ideal of community has vanished and people are more isolated than ever, he continued. To make his case, Zerzan cited a 2006 study from the American Journal of Psychology which found the number of friends for the average American has gone down from three to two in the span of twenty years. In addition, the study revealed the number of people with no friends has tripled. He proposed that as community has disappeared and been replaced by technology, individuals have become increasingly medicated and incidences of violence, such as school/work/family shootings, have increased. Zerzan proposed abandoning domestication and industrialization in order to restore the natural order of things.

GMO Update

In the first hour, food expert Jeffrey Smith commented on GMOs (genetically modified organisms), as well as news that riders in the Farm Bill will allow biotech companies to circumvent legal and regulatory safeguards. According to Smith, the new legislation would force the Secretary of Agriculture to grant permits for planting and cultivating GMOs, even if a federal judge has given an injunction against it. Any GMO request in the pipeline gets automatic approval after a period of one year, he added. "No one should be eating them," Smith continued, noting that FDA scientists have said GMOs are dangerous, and feeding studies have shown reproductive problems, accelerated aging and organ damage in animals on GMO-based diets. GMOs are likely a major contributor to the rise in gastrointestinal disorders since the mid-90s as well, he reported. Smith recommended shopping the periphery of a supermarket (produce, meat, etc.), as over 70% of the food in the store contains some amount of processed genetically-engineered ingredients. He also encouraged listeners to avoid purchasing GMOs to signal the grocery industry to eliminate them from their shelves.

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